Community Insight: Biker rally; bike lanes; yoga center

Tim Dawes, California District Retail Manager for Indian Motorcycles, puts back a Chief Vintage after a test ride at Hollister Powersports during the Hollister Motorcycle Rally July 5. They offered free test rides of Indian Motorcycles Friday and Saturday

With a slew of events to cover from the holiday period and after, we’re presenting an installment of Thumbs Up-Thumbs Down to indicate our support or opposition on local topics. This week, all of the selected topics incited positive responses from the Community Insight Board.
Thumbs Up
All indications point to another sanctioned motorcycle rally in July. Although Hollister officials and organizers are running late once again in the planning process, the city must hold a tight grasp on its signature event—with potential to draw millions of dollars into the local economy—and continue to support its sanctioning.
Hollister City Council members on Jan. 20 are set to consider a contract renewal with the Hollister Downtown Association, which is choosing one of two promoters to run the 2015 event after the prior promoter’s departure.
With the law enforcement budget issues already ironed out before the prior two motorcycle rallies—an inflated security tab historically threatened its existence before this latest run of two consecutive rallies—the event should be a go on a yearly basis moving forward.
There are always going to be complications, such as levels of allocations to local nonprofits that volunteer in places like beer gardens, but they should not stop this event from progressing and expanding with time.
Thumbs Up
Public officials and work crews deserve credit for collaborating, with the help from grant funds, on the painting of new bicycle lanes on the west side of Hollister.
The San Benito County Council of Governments received a grant to prepare a plan for safe routes to schools, and Hollister officials made some of those safety improvements a reality this past fall near Calaveras and R.O. Hardin schools using city funds. As part of the project, employees from Hollister public works in November striped yellow, high-visibility crosswalks along sections of Line Street, Westside Boulevard, Buena Vista Road and Central Avenue. They also added sections of bike paths to San Felipe Road and striped a path on San Juan Road between Westside Boulevard and Miller Road.
While crosswalks and bike lanes can add a false sense of security, and pedestrians and drivers must be cognizant of one another with the addition of the features, they are a step in the right direction toward improving the overall safety and quality of life on the west side.
As for potential tensions on the road, it all comes down to everyone maintaining respectable road etiquette.
Thumbs Up
While there are bound to be questions about the proposed yoga center near San Juan, as with any project idea, there is no reason to oppose the application moving forward and no reason to question the activities planned for the area.
County supervisors last month rightfully approved allowing the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences to move ahead with its proposal on 62.77 acres at 423 Salinas Road near San Juan Bautista. It would include 12,100 square feet for the yoga building with patios and parking areas. It also would include a 25-acre native tree preserve and what the applicant describes as a natural setting.
To go forward with the process, the county board had to rule that the proposal is a compatible use with the Williamson Act, established to preserve agricultural integrity on the designated lands. The board a year ago made the wrong decision by voting 4-1, with Robert Rivas in the minority, to disallow the application moving forward.
There will be the usual questions about traffic volume and water in the application process, but there is nothing wrong with practicing the Hindu tradition of yoga or experiencing a serene environment. Isha’s proposal actually stands as an opportunity to add another cultural element to the community with potential to draw tourists here.

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